The rise of outdoor fitness in Ontario

By: Josephine Naghavie

Published on: May 17th, 2024

Photo Courtesy: Tirachard Kumtanom (Pexels)

In the dynamic landscapes of Canada, with bustling urban areas and serene countryside, Ontario is witnessing a remarkable shift in its fitness culture. With an abundance of natural beauty and expansive parks, people are increasingly ditching the confines of a gym for the boundless benefits of outdoor fitness.

Explore the growing attraction to pursuits such as cycling, hiking, running, outdoor yoga, and more within our natural settings. Discover why these activities are becoming the preferred choice for fitness enthusiasts.

Reconnecting with nature

The surge in outdoor fitness activities reflects a larger trend toward seeking physical and mental wellness in the embrace of the natural world. With its diverse ecosystems, from the Niagara Escarpment to the sprawling wilderness of Algonquin Park, Ontario offers a unique playground for fitness enthusiasts.

Scenic cycling paths, challenging hiking trails, and serene lakeside spots for yoga are attracting more participants than ever before. With the weather warming up and our country’s brief summers, people want to take advantage of those days when they can do their workouts outside.

Influence of social media and research trends

Social media platforms, particularly TikTok, have been pivotal in promoting outdoor fitness. Not only fitness influencers but also those who post for fun are sharing their outdoor adventures!

The rise in outdoor running has skyrocketed through TikTok and has created a sort of virtual support system for new runners alongside long-time runners. Long-time runners can offer guidance and support to beginners while answering any questions they have.

TikTok has also promoted mental wellness by being alongside nature rather than in the confines of an indoor studio gym. Not only this, but many influencers have also created videos and follow-along workouts that can be done in any outdoor space with no equipment needed!

Personal triumphs within the community

The heart of this trend lies in the personal stories of transformation and solace in outdoor fitness. Many individuals like outdoor workouts not only for nature but also for lower-impact activities. Being outdoors does not mean lifting super heavy weights, but being able to listen to your body more slowly.

Joje Solva is a TikTok influencer who was a former pro soccer athlete who now focuses on wellness and fitness. She shares how hiking became her go-to workout because it was low-impact but still challenged her fitness goals. She shares how hiking has helped heal her hormone and gut issues while also easing her anxiety.

Many individuals, influencer or not, have found peace in outdoor activities, high or low impact, which has made this trend grow throughout countries. Not only does it ease the mind, but it can also be an introduction to many different communities of like-minded people.

The future of fitness in Ontario

What does the rise of outdoor fitness in Ontario signify for the future of health and wellness in the province? This movement is not just about physical health; it’s about creating a deeper connection with the environment and building a community around shared outdoor experiences. We have limited time on this earth, so enjoying the outdoors in any way we can should be a priority!

Ontario’s rise in outdoor workouts goes beyond a mere fitness trend; it celebrates the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit. It offers valuable insights for anyone seeking to enrich their fitness journey with meaningful and transformative experiences outside the gym. As we continue to navigate the complexities of modern life, the embrace of outdoor fitness shines as a symbol of hope. It inspires us to connect with nature and each other and shows that you don’t need to go to an expensive gym to be healthy in mind and body. You’ve got the best gym just outside your door.

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